Sebastian Fundora often ignores his unusual height and reach advantages by banging inside and making fan-friendly fights.
The undefeated Fundora expects that trend to continue Saturday night. The 6-feet-6 junior middleweight anticipates “a war” with Mexican slugger Jorge Cota on the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Chris Arreola undercard at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
“He says he plans to make this fight a war, and that’s what I’m expecting,” Fundora said during a press conference Thursday. “You know, nothing less from a great Mexican fighter.”
The 23-year-old Fundora wouldn’t want it any other way.
“It’s just in my blood,” Fundora said. “You know, we have that Mexican blood, that good pride of a warrior. And it’s something I love.”
The lanky southpaw stopped Habib Ahmed in the second round of his last fight, a scheduled 12-rounder on the Errol Spence Jr.-Danny Garcia undercard December 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Ghana’s Habib (28-2-1, 19 KOs, 1 NC) was a late replacement for Cota, who caught COVID-19 and withdrew from their fight on short notice.
“I’ve been through a hard camp,” Fundora said, “two great camps for Cota, so we’re more than prepared for what Saturday brings.”
Fundora (16-0-1, 11 KOs), of Coachella, California, has won three straight fights since his 10-round split draw with Cincinnati’s Jamontay Clark (15-2-1, 7 KOs) in August 2019 in Minneapolis. The developing contender’s most impressive performance in those three wins was his sixth-round knockout of Chicago’s Nathaniel Gallimore (21-5-1, 17 KOs) on August 22 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“This motivates me a lot,” Cota said, “because fighting someone that’s undefeated, like Fundora, is a challenge that I live for and that I want to be up for anytime, anywhere.”
Cota considers this 12-round fight his opportunity to re-establish himself as a junior middleweight contender. Before winning his last two bouts by knockout, Cota (30-4, 27 KOs) lost back-to-back fights in 2019 to Jeison Rosario (20-2-1, 14 KOs), who won a 10-round split decision, and IBF/WBA/WBC champ Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs), who won by third-round knockout.
“This fight is gonna steal the show and I stand by what I said,” Cota said. “It’s a really tough proposition to think that this fight could reach 12 rounds. But we’re gonna steal the show. We’re gonna put on a great show. But don’t expect this fight to reach 12 rounds at all.”
Fundora-Cota will be the second of four fights FOX Sports will offer as part of this pay-per-view show, which will begin at 9 p.m. ET and costs $49.99. Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs), a former heavyweight champion from Imperial, California, and Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs, 2 NC), a longtime contender from Riverside, California, are set to meet in the 12-round main event.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.